SWCC personnel put the Mark V SOC through its paces.
|SWCC Information Center||SBU Photo Gallery 1|
|Special Boat Squadrons Overview||Surface Craft|
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Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen (SWCC) operate and maintain the inventory of state-of-the-art, high-performance boats and ships used to support SEALs and SOF missions. Currently, there are approximately 600 combatant crewmen in the Navy.
Individually, SEALs and SWCC go through separate, but similar, specialized training programs which emphasize special operations in the maritime environment.Today's Special Boat Units trace their origin to Boat Support Unit One which was commissioned in 1963 as a component of the Naval Operations Support Group commanded by Captain Phil H. Bucklew, a pioneer of Naval Special Warfare. The members of BUS-1 deployed to the Republic of Vietnam as members of the Mobile Support Teams tasked with the operation and maintenance of the Light SEAL Support Craft (LSSC) and Medium SEAL Support Craft (MSSC). Although other units supported SEAL's during the war, only the BSU's were specifically created to support Underwater Demolition Teams and SEAL Teams.
The uniqueness of riverine operations in Vietnam created and urgent need for a centralized and systematic training program to prepare prospective boat crews of Task Forces 116 (River Patrol), 117 (River Assault), and BSU-1 for the demands of warefare along coastal and inland waterways. On 30 January, 1967 the Naval Inshore Operations Training Center was commissioned in Mare Island, California, and tasked with providing this highly specialized training.
Following the Vietnam War, these "Brown Water" Sailors were assigned to stateside Coastal/River Squadrons and Divisions. In 1978 these units were assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Groups and re-designated Special Boat Squadrons and Units. Today, SEAL Teams, SEAL Delivery vehicle (SDV) Teams, and Special Boat Units comprise the elite combat units of the Naval Special Warfare Command, the maritime component of the U.S. Special Operations Command. These units are organized, trained, and equipped to conduct special operations in maritime and riverine environments.
The Combatant Crewmen are trained extensively in craft and weapons tactics, techniques, and procedures. Focusing on clandestine infiltration and exfiltration of SEALs and other special operations forces, Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen provide dedicated, rapid mobility in shallow water areas where larger ships cannot go. Like SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen must be physically fit, highly motivated, combat-focused and responsive in high stress situations.
The Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen basic training course is designed to prepare students to function as basic crew members on their first sea duty at a Special Boat Unit (SBU). This nine-week training provides the foundation for the highly specialized SWCC individual skills and tactics training program conducted at the SBUs.
SWCC undergo physical fitness, nutrition, injury prevention and acclimatization training to develop the high level of stamina and endurance required to meet the demands of the maritime combat environment.
Intensive training in survival swimming and lifesaving develops the student's confidence in his ability to survive in the ocean, and, if necessary, assist a crew mate under adverse conditions.
Comprehensive first aid training teaches students to recognize medical emergencies in a combat environment, and how to care for life threatening injuries.
Maritime navigation skills training prepares the student in all aspects of voyage planning and execution of long range maritime operations, including: piloting, dead reckoning, electronic navigation and Rules of the Road.
Special Boat Units - Great overview of the SBRs
Special Boat Unit - Brief definition
Photo: Members of Special Boat Unit 12 on deployment, MP5 training.
Photo: Members of Special Boat Unit 12 on deployment, rope ladder from RIB to Navy helo.
Project Descriptions: Ocean Systems and Operations - scroll down for spec ops
Missions and Military Operations Other Than War
Getting SEALs Ashore - Naval Special Warfare Mobility Improves With Help From SOCOM And The Submarine Community - Article
For information on U.S. Special Operations Watercraft, click here.
For information on waterborne special operations in Vietnam, click here.
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SWCC heading upriver in Light Patrol Boats.